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Google Glass and Augmented Reality Ads

You probably already saw this promo for Google Glass, the augmented reality mobile eyepiece that spams you with friend updates, lets stalkers know where you are and keeps shoving Google Plus circles at you. Google has announced that it’s selling the Explorer Edition to developers and will begun running off actual products in two years.

Now take a look at the Google Glass ad and see if you can spot what’s missing. That’s right, it’s

Google’s search and social offerings are just ways to shove ads at you. But you don’t see ads while the hipster heads to a hipster bookstore, gets hipster coffee and plays the Ukelele for his girlfriend. But the ads have to be there. There’s no point in a search experience without getting the ads in there.

So what will Google Glass ads look like? Who knows. Audio ads are obvious and obviously annoying, but remember Google Glass is augmented reality. It’s primitive augmented reality that functions like a basic mobile device, but if they stick around, they will get more sophisticated.

So what will augmented reality ads look like? Take a look at this augmented reality demo and remember that it was developed by an ad agency.

augmented reality

The future of advertising

Remember all those ads you run into while browsing? The weird guy wriggling his head? The half-naked girl? The bug flying around?

Now imagine those in augmented reality. And then start imagining the dinosaurs in there too. And people so real that you have to take off your glasses to realize they don’t exist. Or you can just wait for their product pitches.

Rendering those kinds of graphics will be beyond Google Glass, but not beyond many mobile devices on the market already. And the processors are getting more powerful, lower energy and capable of doing more with graphics, while graphics hardware companies and engine developers are aiming harder at the mobile market.

If Google Glass is a success, the third generation of devices will be able to shove high end graphics in augmented reality at you. And while XBox 720 may already have something like that (if not the next generation of consoles will have it for the home environment, imagine fighting battles in your living room instead of a warehouse full of crates, not too exciting, but you’re less likely to bump into walls, the living room can also be used to map out the warehouse, your sofa can be one of the crates, kick it to pop out health packs) things will start getting properly weird when you encounter this stuff on the way to work.

Remember ads play for all the tons of free internet crap you get. Mobile has made ads more challenging, but augmented reality takes away the challenge. It’s the brass ring of ad agencies and Google. Instead of a few obscure AdSense or Facebook ads that no one clicks on, you’ll meet a dinosaur on the way to work who will try to sell you something.

It’s going to be a strange world.

Apple vs Google

Apple vs Google isn’t really a battle between tech titans. It’s a struggle between two flailing companies. Google is desperately looking for a way to hang on to its outdated search business and Apple is looking for a way to leverage its early, but now fading lead, in mobile devices. This is a struggle between two companies that are already dinosaurs.

Apple’s big news amounted to nothing. IO6 has nothing deserving all that hype, not the minor interface and features tinkering or the google vs appleFacebook integration. The big news, swapping out Google Maps means nothing to consumers, which says everything about how little Apple has to offer.

The Business Insider story about Apple going for Google’s jugular would amount to more if Google hadn’t already gone much more effectively for Apple’s jugular. Cutting Google Maps out of the iPhone default may hurt Google, but not as much as Android devices are hurting Apple. And Google’s strength is its integration between services that people already use all the time. Apple’s lack of reach within the PC ecosystem locks it out of being able to compete with Google’s ability to integrate desktop and mobile users together.

Siri is a failure. An attention-getting gimmick. It’s not going to kill Google. Not now, not after a few more versions. But Apple doesn’t need to kill Google, because Google will kill Google. And Apple will kill Apple. Dinosaurs fighting over the mobile marketplace aren’t fighting for the future, they’re fighting to protect their business models.

Apple is upset because Google made the mobile experience possible without Apple’s expensive hardware. Google is upset because Apple is shoving aside its intrusive and buggy search business. Both companies are giant dinosaurs crashing together, but the real competition is going to come from new companies that change the marketplace, the way that Facebook did. Apple and Google, while fighting each other, will make alliances against each other with the companies that will replace them.


Google vs Bing

Since the new rollout, Bing looks better than ever. And it even seems more responsive and more functional than Google. It looks like a next generation search engine should.

google privacyWill that help it? Maybe. Google has too much of a lead and too many users habituated to going to Google something. Microsoft has pulled out all the stops to change that. Bing has fewer letters and is easier to remember than Google. It’s friendlier and less cluttered. Does that make it better?

Going by personal experience, when my old Blogsome host went down, I switched over here. Google still has my old Blogsome site in the index even though it and the host have been gone for months. Bing has the new site and no mention of the old one.

Google may have the bigger index, but my impression is that Bing’s index is cleaner.


Microsoft Sees Chrome as the Competition

Firefox is still the dominant non-IE browser, its market share may even surpass IE, so why is Microsoft ignoring Firefox to focus on Chrome, which despite Google’s heavy backing has a much smaller browser market share than Firefox does?

Microsoft’s touting of IE9 and IE10 features focuses on its speed acceleration versus Chrome. Firefox goes unmentioned. And Microsoft’s hyper development and release schedule for IE9 mirrors the rapid speed at which Chrome goes through new version, not Firefox’s glacial speed of updates. And it’s subtle, but IE9 shows Chrome influence.

Some of this is about corporate rivalry. Microsoft sees Google as a major rival, the Mozilla Foundation looks more like an eccentric blip. Creating a corporate strategy to take on the Mozilla foundation looks silly, but fighting Google makes more sense. Chrome is also more of a multiplatform challenger and Microsoft rightly views it as the opening of a much larger wedge.

But Microsoft isn’t alone in seeing Chrome as the future and Firefox as the old IE. And they have a case to make. Firefox has gotten bulkier over the versions. Chrome isn’t really faster, but it is flashier. Chrome takes a different approach to browsing, with its underemphasis of the browser, and that’s a bigger threat to Microsoft than anything else.

Google Books’ Copyright Grab Smacked Down

Shocking, but Judge Chin did the right thing by smacking down the bogus Google Books, Author’s Guild deal in which Google got an open door to stack up all the books it wants and the Author’s Guild gets paid for them. Judge Chin rightly observed that this was a precedent sneaking through as a settlement, which means it goes to congress next.

At stake is the whole Orphan Works scam. A beloved term of librarians and academics, orphan works means material whose authors can’t be identified, found or contacted. In practice it usually means a blank check to make use of material and then puts the obligation on the owner to file a complaint. Judge Chin’s basic point was that Google is big enough that it shouldn’t get this kind of blank check and books should be opt in, not opt out.

There’s no real reason why Google Books and the Author’s Guild should be able to take material, make money off it and go on doing it until the rightful owners object. If they do. Google has gotten away with this on YouTube, and beaten Hollywood with a stick. But Google Books isn’t a collaborative effort by users, but a project of a major corporation.

The Browser Times Are Changing

So Chrome has finally broken the 10 percent mark. Google promoting it on every page it owns wouldn’t hurt. Especially when between its search empire and YouTube, Google also commands a huge percentage of the traffic. Microsoft’s own market share is down to 56 percent. Around double Firefox’s 22 percent market share. Opera has increased a little, but not as much as it deserves.

The news isn’t all that good. Chrome isn’t a good browser, it’s just a well promoted one. The only good thing you can say about Chrome is that it’s light, though it has its own memory issues, and easy to flip through. It beats clunkers like IE and Safari, and it feels lighter than Firefox, which is turning into the new IE. That plus the marketing elevates Chrome up in the competition.

Firefox really needs to come up with a winner in 4.0 and they’re taking the time to do it. But can Mozilla turn this around? Firefox was important because it was the first browser to really put IE in the corner. IE9 is Microsoft’s latest attempt to learn from its mistakes, but IE9 is still clunky. Just less clunky than its predecessors. The browser that really gets it is Opera, but it’s also the least used of the big 5.

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